Best of 2016 – Tim’s Picks

Engineering Perfection

Words by Tim Coleman.
December 28th, 2016

Every year we ask our contributors at NSMB to come up with a few of their favourite things. The results aren’t always what you’d expect, and are as diverse as the people that chose them. Here are Tim’s picks for 2016.


I’ve been to Retallack a few times now, and the Retallack experience does not get old. The folks at Retallack have such a good grasp of the entire experience. The trails are excellent, the views stunning, the guides are great, the lodge is fun, apres is top notch, and on top of that the food is outstanding. The network of trails at Retallack is growing, and well designed to be fun for a wide range of abilities. To boot there is excellent riding to and from Retallack, accessed via some of my favourite roads in BC. It’s well worth the price of admission.



Schwalbe Magic Mary

The Schwalbe Magic Mary isn’t a new tire on the market, but it remains my favourite front tire. I had a 2.35” Magic Mary Vert Star Super Gravity on the front of both my bikes this year. I include this on my best list, because it seems so versatile, it seems to work well over such a wide variety of trail conditions and surfaces. It strikes a nice balance of durability, weight, and traction. It’s not a particularly fast rolling tire, but there has to be a compromise for all that grip.

The Magic Mary was a fixture on the front of both my bikes this year. And they took me through some incredible places.

The Magic Mary was a fixture on the front of both my bikes this year. And they took me through some incredible places.

Trail Forks

Off the cuff this is likely a contentious one. But hear me out. Trail Forks has helped motivate me to explore different areas, ride new trails, and have more fun on my bike. I think the Trail Forks crew have done a great job to engage the trail builders and landowners to hide sensitive trails. The shear number of trails in Trail Forks, and how widespread it is boggles my mind. I see how fewer folks may be less likely to go to the local bike shop in an unfamiliar spot to get trail info, but I argue more folks will be motivated to check out new spots. I think I’ve seen a shift in how often folks travel out to seek new trails, and more often than not lead by Trail Forks. I’ve certainly used Trail Forks a ton this year, and it’s definitely made a positive impression on my rides.

Caption; I use Trail Forks frequently, even on my local trail areas.

Caption; I use Trail Forks frequently, even on my local trail areas.


For those unfortunate souls that don’t know what the Nurburgring is, it’s a long, dangerous race track deep in the forests of Germany. The circuit was built in the 1920s, is 20.8 km long, and made up of 154 corners. It’s famous for being fast, narrow and unforgiving. It’s become a mecca for racing enthusiasts, a temple of speed. The entire town lives and breaths motor racing, and I get excited just writing this piece. My day at the Nurburgring this year was the most expensive day of the year, but worth every penny. I rented a track prepped car, and did a couple laps. It’s operated as a toll road, on which you can drive anything. This means there is everything from RVs to race cars on track at the same time. The track is so big, it was wet in some parts and dry in others, only increasing the chances of making a mistake. Mistakes are VERY expensive. I left humbled, exhilarated, and grinning for weeks. Some say, never meet your heroes, I’m still smitten.

Underground parking at the Ring. Yes, I was “that” excited.

Underground parking at the Ring. Yes, I was “that” excited.

Bonus: Julbo Race 2.0 Glasses

I had never heard of Julbo glasses before receiving a pair to review. I was somewhat hoping they would be terrible and I could write a comically scathing review. They turned out to be excellent, and have been one of my favourite bits of riding kit this year. You can read about them here. These were definitely the surprise of the year for me.

The perfect wrap, doubled up, Julbo glasses at Retallack.

The perfect wrap, doubled up, Julbo glasses at Retallack.

A solid list for sure.

  • Vik Banerjee

    Trailforks is great. Even well meaning locals don’t do a great job giving trail directions. I’m not one of these people who is into keeping trails secret or difficult to navigate.

  • David Mills

    Trailforks FTW. Going to an LBS to buy a trail map and get some advice is fine, but too often the directions to a trail involve taking “a left at the big tree where the old water tower used to be, about a mile past the train tracks”. Then you get out there, there’s no water tower, 4 big trees to choose from, etc. TF cuts through that pretty nicely.

  • Lacy Kemp

    On the trailforks thing… one awesome bonus? It gets your lost ass unlost when deep in the cabbage of forest roads. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been somewhere with zero cell service but my little blue dot shows up on TrailForks and I can navigate my way out of nowhere. Yes, I suck at directions. yes I should get an atlas. But until then, yay for Trailforks!

    Also track day? I think I fell in love with you! That’s a total dream!

    • Tim Coleman

      I’m blushing! Track days are so much fun. And if you live around these parts, The Ridge in Washington state is only a few hours away, which is a fantastic track.

      Completely agree with your Trail Forks comment. Trail Forks has saved my lost ass many times this year!

  • Chantal Felten

    Trailforks is awesome in so many ways….when considering travel for work, I look around prior to flying to see if I should bring me bike, when I get there it now shows me local bike business where you get some last minute shitnyou again forget together with some last minute beta , keeps my ass from getting lost , since locals are notorious for given grettrail advice but poor directions 😀…and last but definitely not least, tells me which local organization stewards the trails do I can buy a trail pass or a membership…

  • Cooper

    A) *Trailforks
    B) *Nürburgring
    C) *après
    D) Is that a 180mm travel Danger Ranger?

    E) Happy new year, ya filthy animal.